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If food is love, then your family will adore this Sneaky Chef Valentine’s Day recipe that’ll keep their precious hearts healthy! 

These treats are so cute that my daughter, Sammy, is bringing them to school for the other kids on Valentine’s Day. They are a nice change from the heart-shaped lollipops and chocolates that the other kids share. 

Enjoy in good health!


Make 6 balls

6 cups popped popcorn 
4 ounces regular marshmallows (a little less than half of a 10-ounce package)
1 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons Cherry Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe below)
3 tablespoons oat bran
6 craft sticks

Place popcorn in a large bowl; set aside. In a saucepan, melt marshmallows and canola or vegetable oil over low heat. Stir in Cherry Puree and oat bran. Pour over popcorn and toss to coat. Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then spray your hands with oil and shape mixture into 6 baseball-sized balls. Re-spray hands with oil as needed.

Insert a craft stick into the end of each ball and place on wax or parchment paper to harden. 

Make-Ahead Recipe #7: Cherry Puree

2 ½ cups fresh or frozen cherries,* no syrup or sugar added
½ teaspoon lemon juice
1 to 2 tablespoons water

Makes about 1 cup of puree

Fill the bowl of your food processor with the cherries, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of water; puree on high until as smooth as possible. Stop occasionally to push the contents to the bottom. If necessary, use another tablespoon of water to smooth-out the puree.

This recipe makes about 1 cup of puree; double it if you want to store another cup. It will keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days, or you can freeze 1⁄4-cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers.

*Try to use organic cherries, since they rank high on the “dirty dozen” list of produce most contaminated with pesticide residues.

For more Valentine’s Day recipes, check out The Sneaky Chef to the Rescue: 101 All-New Recipes and “Sneaky” Tricks for Creating Healthy Meals Kids Will Love

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